Work related accidents have been a very diverse topic in the last 20-25 years. We have gone a long way when it comes to improving the working conditions for people in all the work places and most of them are regulated by law. Now, it is only natural that some work environments are more dangerous than others. It is highly unlikely to experience a work related injury in an office environment (but it is not unheard of). On the other hand, some vocations are just naturally dangerous since they involve working with machinery, heavy objects, hazardous materials, etc. We are not technologically advanced enough nor are our organizational solutions sophisticated enough to resolve worksite injury risks when it comes to some of the more dangerous vocation options.
The working environment that has the highest accident rate when we look at the statistics across the board is, of course, the construction industry.
Things that make the construction industry so dangerous
Construction projects are collaborative processes between lots of people, which makes the probability of an accident based on human error happening much greater. Believe it or not, most accidents in construction are related to falling objects. Working in construction is physically exhausting and this can have a negative influence on people’s concentration. The location can also raise the probability of an accident occurring, but even if the location is perfect, the work environment in construction constantly changes and this makes it hard to keep track of all hazard points. On top of that, heavy machinery is operated during construction and this adds to the overall risk.
While there are some safety standards that construction companies are obligated to meet, since they are regulated by construction site safety laws, there are a lot of cases in which these standards are not met for various reasons. In most of the cases, construction companies sidestep these laws to save money and speed up the construction process, but in the long run, this never pays off.
Essentials for a safe construction site
While there is no way to make a construction site 100% safe, there are some things that can be covered in order to boil down the chances of an accident happening to a bare minimum.
This is a must! Many construction companies do their work without the required safety equipment and this is something that any smart construction company should avoid. While safety equipment doesn’t lower the chances of an accident happening, it protects your employees from getting hurt in case one does happen. Getting proper safety equipment and making sure it is used at all times should be your top priority.
Since construction is a collaborative process, it is imperative to make sure that each and every one of your workers is aware of the risks and that they are proficient at identifying possible hazard points on their own. This will enable them to protect themselves and their coworkers. Worker education is essential and doesn’t cost all that much. It also gives you the chance of seeing the situation from your workers’ point of view and learning from their experience.
Safety plan & organization
Having a construction site plan is something that is mandatory by law in construction projects with a budget of 50,000$ or more. This document enables you to plan out safety mechanisms for each individual part of the construction process. In large construction projects, it is highly recommended that radio communication is established between teams of workers. A UHF antenna is a good choice for boosting radio signals and making sure that there are no communication interferences.
Protecting the health and lives of your employees is a very important matter. From the financial aspect, you will avoid paying for legal settlements, fines and medical bills which can be the kiss of death for a construction company. Your workers are a resource as well and team synergy is something that helps your company move forward. It is hard to achieve team synergy if your team experiences frequent staff changes. Last but not least, consider the morality of disregarding the safety of other human beings just to earn a few extra bucks.